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Downtown Minneapolis Prepares For Busy Weekend

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Roads in downtown Minneapolis will start closing soon for events related to the All-Star Game as the city prepares for one of its busiest weekends of the summer.

It’s a big weekend coming up for downtown. The All-Star Game FanFest, a five-day festival, begins at the Convention Center open at 9 a.m. Friday.

Friday night, thousands more people will head to downtown Minneapolis for the Basilica Block Party. It’s a two-day concert at the Basilica of St. Mary. And there are plenty of street closures you can expect because of both events. Many of these closures and traffic restrictions will be in place though next Tuesday night, after the All-Star Game is over.

The weekend is also a big test for the city of Minneapolis in terms of hosting major events. With more than 160,000 visitors expected, city officials said this is a nice boost for people working in the hospitality industry.

“Because what that does for us within the hospitality industry is to keep the nearly 29,000 to 30,000 people who make their living in Minneapolis on travel and hospitality, it helps them keep food on the table, to be able to support their families,” said Melvin Tennant with Meet Minneapolis. “So it’s very important to us.”

Officials said Target Field was designed for big events like the All-Star Game and the city is ready in terms of security and traffic patrol increases. If you want to just avoid all the traffic and closures, Metro Transit is adding extra buses and trains over the span of the All-Star Game.

Also in anticipation of the tens of thousands of extra people in town, Verizon Wireless said it has doubled its data capacity in the area.

WEB EXTRA: Map of Downtown Minneapolis Road Closures (.PDF)

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